Saturday, 21 November 2015
Unbelievably the weekend was forecast as dry… that’s right DRY! <5% chance of rain for the entire weekend! What does one do with such a forecast? It had been so long. So off we trotted up the hill to Grange Rigg. With plans for curry and slideshows in Kendal that evening, we were at the cave entrance for 11am. There was snow on the ground, so we were all hurrying to get into the warm cave and have the feeling return to our hands. Dinny set off rigging whilst the rest of us followed on behind. The trip went smoothly and we were soon at the scary looking boulder choke of doom that signified we were nearing the end of the cave. DInny, in the process of warning us that the boulder choke was unstable, declared this was the end of the trip for him; having bottomed the cave about 30 or so years ago. The trip from here heads down into the unstable boulder choke, where one must squeeze through a small hole between boulders on the right. Originally, and as mentioned in NFTFH, the way on was through a squeeze between a boulder and the wall on the left. This is no longer possible as the boulders have moved, "kindly" opening up a small, quite likely unstable, hole through boulders on the right. Having known about this new 'development' in the cave from friends who had gone through previously, I was really "happy" to find out that Becka had to move a boulder out of the way to access this hole. However I would have preferred to have been told this before going through said boulder choke, not on my way out. Thanks Becka. On the other side a small chamber opens up and is quickly followed by the Drainpipe. And then... the end. After sharing a chocolate bar with Julian, we turned around and headed back out of the cave... to daylight. On the way out Andy learnt that when faced with a decision between one passage and another... it is usually better to choose the larger one. Out after 3 hours and 45 mins (if my memory serves me correctly) and off we trundled back to the cars to face the agony of changing in the freezing wind.